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BIXI Montréal Launches a Pilot Project to Improve Safety for Bixists


BIXI Montréal Launches a Pilot Project to Improve Safety for Bixists

Canada NewsWire

Bikes will be equipped with a laser lighting system that will provide greater visibility on Montreal streets

MONTREAL, July 25, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - BIXI Montréal announced a pilot project aimed at increasing safety for users by equipping bikes with a high-performance lighting system called Laserlight, which will help make the bikes more visible when the sun goes down. This new system will allow road users to anticipate cyclists in their blind spots or at a crosswalk.

Laserlight - Beryl - BIXI Montréal (CNW Group/BIXI Montréal)

Developed by the English company Beryl, this high-performance lighting system consists of installing a laser that projects a green bicycle symbol onto the road, five metres in front of the cyclist, providing better visibility for both the cyclist and the other road users sharing the road.

"More than 20% of the trips taken in Montreal are in the evening, and this number will reach more than a million trips in 2018," said Christian Vermette, CEO of BIXI Montréal. "These statistics have made us explore different options to equip our bikes with a technology that will allow users to remain safe on the roads. So we were very interested in Beryl's proposal to check out their technology, which has been approved by the Transport Research Laboratory for Transport for London. The Laserlight has proven to be very effective on the Santander Cycles fleet, and their bikes are identical to ours. New York City has also adopted this technology for their Citibike fleet. The demonstration was extremely convincing."

The pilot project will equip 55 bikes with Laserlights and they will be progressively reintroduced into the BIXI fleet randomly throughout the network starting tomorrow (July 26).

There will be no additional fees added to the BIXI rental price; users can rent one of these bikes for the same fee. 

Regarding the project costs, purchasing and installing the Laserlights comes to $150 per bike. The budget allowance allocated to the project comes directly from the surplus that must, according to the City of Montreal, be reinvested into all spheres of activity.

"This pilot project falls under the objectives of Vision Zero, as well as the City's efforts to allow all users to circulate visibly and safely on Montreal streets. Considering the ever-increasing popularity of BIXI in Montreal, adding these lights to the bikes will promote nicer, safer trips for all users. I think this is a great initiative for BIXI," said Marianne Giguère, City councillor for the De Lorimier District and head of active transport and sustainable development for the City of Montreal's Executive Committee. 

A highly recommended technology with supporting statistics 
An independent study by Transport Research Laboratory for Transport for London, the organization responsible for public transit in Greater London, concluded that the Laserlight, installed on a fleet of 12,000 bikes, helps to considerably reduce the dangers of blind spots around vehicles. "The percentage of maximum visibility at night for bus drivers has improved 96.2% with the Beryl Laserlight," specified the Research Centre. "The percentage for other vehicles was 65% to 97% for small trucks, 78% to 83% for dump trucks and 56% to 65% for cars," concluded the study.

The study also showed that bikes with Laserlights at night are more visible than bikes in broad daylight without this technology. Furthermore, 78% of drivers who completed the survey confirmed that this new system helps them to spot cyclists.

Next stage of the pilot project
If the results are conclusive in different analyses and BIXI Montréal's annual survey, all of the bikes in the fleet could be equipped with Laserlights by 2020.

Beryl Laserlight video

About BIXI Montréal
Created by the City of Montreal in 2014, BIXI Montréal is a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform the urban experience with active, accessible, innovative and collaborative mobility by managing Montreal's bike-sharing system. The network has 6,250 bikes and 540 stations in Montreal, Longueuil and Westmount. Much more than a simple mode of transportation, BIXI is now an excellent way to travel freely throughout the city where and whenever you want, to go where your heart desires and/or needs to go.  



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